Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov )

Tip #1: Families that play together…stay together…

  • Set aside time together as a family to do activities and be active
  • Incorporate constructive time for activities with high needs kids

Tip #2: Help us understand your expectations of us…

  • Be clear and firm about house rules
  • Communication must be clear and honest
  • State your expectations of us and be clear about them

Tip #3: Respect our birth family and don’t hold our past against us…

  • Negative remarks about birth parents can cause problems and hinder the growth of the child
  • If the kid is acting out, don’t bring up the birth family situation
  • Don’t talk about why we entered the system-don’t hold our past against us
  • Things should be kept between foster parents and birth family, don’t drag the kid into it

Tip #4: Help us be independent…

  • Teach life skills and independence
  • Be directly involved in the process
  • Teach responsibility and independence by letting them do it and be part of the process

Tip #5: Help us to create safe spaces for ourselves

  • Kids need their own private spaces to feel safe
  • Private spaces help kids calm down and cool off

Tip #6: Don’t impose who you are on us, but understand our needs and encourage us to be ourselves…

  • Respect children’s beliefs-Don’t impose your family values and beliefs
  • Learn about the child’s religion and ways to accommodate it
  • Understand the child’s mental health situation, get educated about what is okay to talk about and what’s not

Tip #7: Make us feel like part of the family-treat us like your own…

  • Make us feel like part of the family
  • Let us have the freedom and access to things that your own kids have
  • Don’t have separate rules for us
  • Treat us like your own kids

Tip #8: Don’t make it about the money, but rather about us!

  • Don’t make the motivation or incentive be about the foster care money but rather about the passion
  • Treat us with respect and show that you care about us and not the money